Why Discovery of Passion is Deeply Linked to Teenage Years

how teenagers can find passion

Did you know a 16-year-old invented a pancreatic cancer detector, and a 19-year-old has launched a massive Ocean cleanup project? Stories of teen creators and thought leaders are aplenty. This begs the question – are teens more passionate than the world gives them credit for?

While most associate teenage years with being lazy and clicking selfies, in reality, GenZ is full of creativity and resilience.

Take for example Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who organized the “Fridays for Future” school strike for climate and got the world to start talking about the looming threat of climate change. The teenager admits to being ‘painfully shy’, and yet she sparked a global movement with her determination!

Inside the Mind of a Teenager

For several years, the teenage mind has fascinated researchers. Many studies have shown that adolescence is a time when the propensity for taking risks is the highest. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, given that it pushes the boundaries of creativity and divergent thinking.

While many adults are conditioned by their environment to think in one pattern, adolescents seldom have such mental blockers. You’ll often find grown-ups focusing on things they cannot achieve or what cannot be done. To a teenage mind, however, every problem can be solved!

That’s why one sees so many teens today at the forefront of social movements, leading entrepreneurial projects and injecting energy and new ideas into public life.

According to scientists, the teenage brain is at a unique neurological stage. It retains the creativity of childhood years and at the same time, also starts gaining the adult ability to make social connections, and discover interests.

Their mind adapts quickly and has immense potential for learning. It’s a golden time to explore and figure out a passion!

The Road to Self Discovery

It’s a time when you start noticing your natural abilities and things that interest you. Take this opportunity to figure out who you are as an individual, separate from the family tribe, and as a person with a unique personality.

Self-discovery is a constant learning journey. It means finding your purpose in life (it takes time but we all get there!), it means digging deep and understanding the experiences and ideas that shape you. It means realizing what your values and beliefs are and living by them.

This road to self-discovery includes happiness, self-awareness, clarity and sometimes even enlightenment!

Think about what excites you and start exploring your interests. It will even help you answer the age-old question: ‘What am I passionate about?’

While some teens may be naturally inclined to think about life’s big questions, others may need a little encouragement. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • Which activities bring me happiness?
  • What are my personal characteristics?
  • Who do I aspire to be like?

While not everything in your teenage years is linked to self-discovery and figuring out a passion, being mindful of how you spend your time and being open to experiences can shape your future like nothing else can!

Start with small passion projects. If dancing, singing or performing arts excite you, go ahead and learn them. In case making and editing videos are your forte, open a YouTube channel. If writing brings you joy, start with a blog.

Try out new hobbies, join a class and do things that make you happy. Amid all this, you are sure to find your Ikigai – your raison d’etre!

Three Reasons why Project-based Learning is the Future

Life is lived through experiences. While textbooks give you the foundations, real-world experiences give you wings to fly and discover who you truly are what you want to be. In this journey of self-discovery, the ‘doing over knowing’ principle is the key.

So how does one apply this principle in teenage years? The answer is simple: Project-based learning. 

Decoding Project-based Learning

As the name suggests, project-based learning is an efficient approach for gaining knowledge and skills through engaging projects. The conventional learning paradigm has a one-way flow of pre-prepared information. Project-based learning, however, lets you investigate and find solutions to complex problems and real-world challenges.

Simply put, it takes you from ‘learn the answer’ to ‘let’s explore together!’

The process lets you discover interests and passions via a whole new world of innovation and creativity. Here are five reasons why you should take up skill-based projects:

It Builds Higher Order Thinking Skills

Lower Order Thinking Skills or LOTs include remembering, recalling, understanding and applying. Whereas skills such as analysing, evaluating, synthesising and creating are considered HOTs or Higher Order Thinking Skills.

When broken down, HOT skills include everything from creativity, original thinking, sense of inquiry, problem solving, articulate communication, teamwork and many others.

To thrive in an uncertain future, you’ll need to build HOT skills. The importance of these skills goes beyond academics, as they enable you to find your expression in the world and succeed in whatever challenge you pick in life, at any age.

It Encourages Self-Determined and Self-Directed Learning

Through projects, you explore real-world challenges that require critical thinking. Something as simple as designing a marketing campaign for a sneaker launch can build a life long love of communication and creative writing!

It not only helps in building a deeper understanding of a concept but also encourages self-directed and self-determined learning, where you understand your innate strengths and interests.

It Challenges your Limits

Real world experiences teach you skills like resilience, divergent thinking, and perseverance. Your unique opinions, approaches, and ideas are valued. When you work on projects, there are no boundaries to creativity. It allows you to push your limits and come up with 50 different solutions to a single problem, leading to innovation! 

Real World Learning through Real World Projects

Project-based learning is a great way to become an industry-fit professional and a resilient individual! A cycle of reflection and creations enables you to identify your strengths and improve your skills. Just as one cannot learn cycling until they sit on a cycle, merely knowing a domain doesn’t add any value until you start exploring it.

On the Uable app, you can first explore then dive deep into fields that interest you and start creating micro projects. The challenges groom you not just for a job or career, but for the real world!

How to Create Jaw-Dropping Creations on the Uable App

Uable is a daily space for learners where they can self-design their career discovery journeys – one challenge at a time! While academic knowledge gives you only a one-way flow of pre-prepared information, here you are free to explore at your own pace and interest. Based on your intrinsic motivation, curiosity and creativity, you can delve into diverse domains on the app and discover your talents and possible career paths.

Real-World Challenges for Real-World Learning

Imagine if you wanted to become a baker. Could you become successful just by watching baking videos alone? You’d have to bake lots of cakes (and burn a few as well) to master the art.

When you ‘learn by doing’, instead of just reading about it, something amazing happens. You become self-motivated and determined to understand a concept/ domain deeply. This leads you on a journey of self-discovery where you build long-lasting skills and discover your true potential. This is what we call real-world learning!

We encourage learners to unlock their hidden talents with the power of real-world challenges created by experts.

While you may have learnt a lot of abstract concepts in books, these challenge allows you to put them to use. They literally challenge you to think outside the box and apply your knowledge to create concrete and actionable output.

Challenges on the Uable app are nothing but a call to action to learn deeply about the subject that interests you!

Attempting the First Challenge

Getting started on your very first challenge is quite simple. Go to the challenges tab on the app to view dozens of challenges. You can pick from a range of domains like marketing, entrepreneurship, engineering and so much more. Once you chose a challenge, click on ‘unlock’ to start creating!

Things to Keep in Mind for Submitting Jaw-Dropping Creations

Take Inspiration

Glance through the community creations for a dose of inspiration. The global teen community’s creations allow you to look at the real-world challenges from a broader perspective. Make sure to save the creations that serve as your inspiration so that you can aspire to match their quality in the future!

Comprehend before you Create

Before you start creating, make sure you have understood the challenge clearly. Comprehend, create a plan, find the best solution, and then just let your creativity flow!

Break it Down

Break down each output of the creation. Does it call for photos/videos or a presentation? Remember to clearly articulate your message in the best way so that users will be able to engage better with your content.

Clean, Crisp, and Clear

The most important thing for any photo-based creation is that it should be clean and simple.

  • Avoid hard to read fonts styles and colours on your photo. Your main message will get missed out if your text is not readable!
  • Declutter: Remove unnecessay elements and embellishments.
  • Use a minimalist approach for colours. If your background colour is dark, use white colour for the font so that it’s easy to read and vice-versa.
  • Keep a balance between conveying your message and the aesthetic appeal. One should not overpower the other.

If it’s a video that you are going to submit then follow this strategy:

  • Stand against a clean and plain background so that your face is clearly visible.
  • The room should be well lit with the light falling directly on your face.
  • Reduce background noise
  • Take a deep breath before you start recording. Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Oraganise your key points on a piece of paper and keep it handy while recording.

Correct Tools

It’s not possible that everyone with great ideas possesses the same creativity to make visually pleasing photos. But with the world at our fingertips now, anything is possible. There are many great tools out there like Canva, Adobe Spark, Snappa, and more. These platforms provide multiple features that will help you in your creations, whether simple or complex. They are pretty user-friendly, so you don’t have to be a know-it-all to use them.

Create, Learn, Repeat

While you follow the tips given above, make sure to abide by the Uable guidelines so that your efforts don’t go to waste. Try to keep the work as original, and if you do need incorporate someone else’s work, make sure to give them credit. While staying true to the challenge requirements, make sure you don’t give away personal information. Most importantly, don’t create disrespectful content, be mindful of the different age groups and backgrounds and be sensitive about your content to avoid any hindrance. Happy creating!

Ikigai: The Secret of Living a Purposeful Life as a Teenager

We all are yearning for a purpose in life. And for you, as a teenager, there are thousands of unsolved questions that need answers.

But you’re not alone in this. 

We all have felt lost, afraid, doubtful, and sometimes with no purpose and passion. But when you’re in your teens, your most significant currency is your time.

If “I don’t know” is the phrase that overwhelms your mind often, then a simple method can help you find your passion. 

It’s called Ikigai.

What Is Ikigai?

In simple terms, it’s “the reason to live” or “meaning to life.” It is constructed with two words, Iki (to live) and Gai (the reason). On a deeper note, it’s a self-reflection process. You can understand yourself, your values, and what serves you in the real world.

Ikigai for teenagers is a way to find their “why” of doing things, whether it’s their passion, career discovery, or future of work.

The best way to know yourself as a teenager is to ask good questions. Many studies have found that following the path of Ikigai has health benefits too!

How Do You Find Your Ikigai?

Teenage life can be full of emotions, excitement, impulsive decisions, and a lot of confusion. Ikigai for teenagers teaches you how to live your life even when your sail is against the wind.

 Start your journey with these 5 questions:

  • What does your best day look like? (Your perfect day, which seems complete to you.)
  • What’s keeping you stagnant? (Is it your insecurities, fear, or doubts?)
  •  What comes easy for you? (When you feel the time has passed so quickly you didn’t even realize it.) 
  •  Who are you when you’re alone? (This will help you tap into your true inner self, which is essential as a teenager.)
  • How can you help someone today? (Maybe someone needs your help today.)

NPR research found that a teen’s self-esteem rises after volunteering or helping strangers. 

These questions can seem philosophical to answer. But Ikigai for teenagers addresses inner crises and gently nudges them towards their goals.

The answers to all the above questions will lay a rock-solid foundation to find your passion or career.

Stay Resilient On The Path to Self Discovery

Ikigai can help shape your life towards a meaningful and fulfilling career path. Here’s how you can get started. 

Seek Answers

Write down these questions on a piece of paper and try to answer each one of them.

  1. What do you love to do?
  2. What is it that you are good at?
  3. What does the world need?
  4. What can you be rewarded for?

It’s good if you have all the answers, but it’s okay even if you don’t.

For example, if you’re an artist who loves to tell stories, you have many career options to choose from. Maybe you can pursue as an illustrator, a writer, a painter, or a filmmaker. 

There’s no right or wrong way of finding purpose. There’s only your way.

So, don’t be too quick to judge yourself. You can always add, remove, and modify your Ikigai along the way.

It’s not a Race against Time

Ikigai is not about getting things right or becoming a millionaire. Instead, it’s about your personal growth, finding the right place for you.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Be curious; this will take you a long way. With some trial and error, you will uncover your purpose and passion.

Let your Ikigai be the north star for you. And never forget, it’s a process, and it takes time.

Discover your Ikigai with Uable’s Real World Learning

At Uable, teenagers can immerse themselves in real-world experiences to explore their interests and passions and discover what they truly want to do. We enable real-world learning with the power of challenges created by global experts on the app. They lead to immediate, bite-size learning and build excitement around the theme or the domain that interests you.

It pushes you to leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan and move forward to find the best solution. Along the way, there is experimentation, failure, and ultimately, success!

Explore challenges across domains like entrepreneurship, marketing, tech, and many more. Interact with experts, brands, organisations and find like-minded peers who share common interests.

It’s an exciting place for self-discovery and finding your Ikigai!

7 Tips to Discover your Career Path

If you are a teenager, you may be stumped when people all around ask you about your career. Sadly, no one tells you how to make a career choice. The real solution to career discovery, then, is to keep exploring through real world learning – where you learn by doing, instead of just reading about it in textbooks. It is a crucial step to long-term life success. It can help you go beyond test scores and lead you to a path of self-discovery.

Here’s how you can understand your true career calling with the help of real world learning:

Figure out what you’re looking for

Before you find a career that is good for you, you must understand yourself and the things that you excel at. Some studies have shown that the top 10% of successful people do about 50% of the work. Here’s something to think about:

  • Research multiple paths to see what interests you
  • Find out your strengths to align them with your choices

Don’t just limit yourself to passion

Following your passion is excellent. But it would help if you equally focus on the ultimate impact of your effort. About 75% of respondents to a survey in America said they had changed their career at least once, and approximately 33% thinking of changing yet again. So, the right fit is a must.

Let your passion guide you, but don’t forget to put in the hard work. Figure out if you’re interested in a particular area enough to pursue it long-term. Moreover, you can find out more about your interest by participating in activities or events related to it.

Look for overlaps

What you know, what a company expects, and what you want to achieve may differ, but the connection between the three should be found. This is how you find your perfect way to work.

Think about your interests, abilities, and learn how to interpret this instead of looking for a job. Look back at past experiences to guide you towards your future. What did you like to do in the past? What did you not like about it?

You will see what work you have to do by knowing your values, passions, and abilities. And being sensitive to these factors means that you can take a closer look at technologies that require 21st-century skills.

Shortlist your choices

You can’t try it all. It can work better if you reduce it to a minimum number of possibilities. So, measure up which of your talents and abilities can actually make fit within career paths. And, just make a list of the pros and cons and shorten it down to things that really matter to you.

Network your way to career discovery

When you are actively looking for a new career or trying to figure out which way to go, it’s a great way to get your feet in the water and seek help from those already in it.

When you meet more people, you can gain more insight into how they work, why they love their work. And mentoring is crucial if you are looking for a job. Surveys reveal that around 85% of the jobs are networked!

Seek professional internships

Did you know what a veterinarian does all day? There is no better way to learn a job than to spend a day shadowing someone. Even universities help you plan to visit a professional body as long as you follow the rules.

For example, if you want to do an internship with a family friend or neighbour in their office, they will be asking you to contact the HR department in advance for authorization. (This inquiry can be initiated on your behalf by the friend or neighbour.) This will, in turn, increase your exposure to the industry.

Hold on to what inspires you

This is an obvious step: everyone wants to enjoy their work and appreciate it. If you are afraid to talk about work, it is the most significant sign that you are on the wrong path. While passion is not the only way to fulfil your mission, most people would say that it is still important, not least because passion keeps you going through difficult times.

The road to career discovery is not a straight path, but it is filled with great learnings and personal growth. Happy exploring!